Tuesday 12 January 2016

Five Reasons for #Brands Businesses & #Bloggers to Participate in Twitter Chats @turnipseedtravel #SocialMedia

5 Reasons Brands, Businesses and Bloggers Need to Start Participating in Twitter Chats.

The first people I started following when I signed up for a Twitter account were Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber. No offense to their fans, but UGH! Was this really what made Twitter so popular, spying on the lives of celebrities? It just didn’t feel like the network for me and it took me a long time to get into the Twitter grove. (And, no, Kim and Justin never did follow me back – the nerve!)
I now know I’m not the only one who’s struggled to get excited about Twitter. One of the most frequent comments I hear, from private individuals and business owners alike, is that they just don’t “get” Twitter. They’ll say things like it feels as if they’re shouting into a void and they want this to change. They know that Twitter is too massive a network to ignore and they don’t want to be left behind. They just don’t know where to begin.

My number one rule for surviving and thriving on social media is that you’ve got to be social and, fortunately, Twitter makes this easy through Twitter chats. Twitter chats are regular, reoccurring discussions (using in a question and answer format) that center around a general theme, with a different focus at each new chat.

For example, the #foodiechats chat that occurs every Monday at 8pm EST, is perfect for anyone who loves food. Isn’t that all of us!? Each week, there’s a different focus, be it California cuisine or French wines, with people around the world chiming in as the moderate presents a different question to the group. That’s all you have to do. Just follow the hashtag and speak your mind! Like most Twitter chats, it’s non-corporate in nature (though there may be sponsored prizes), distinguishing it from the one time, promotional Twitter parties thrown by businesses.

If the idea of drooling over great food isn’t enough of a reason to dip your toes into the Twitter chat waters, here’s five great reasons to participate.

1.)    They’re fun! There’s little point in being on social media if you’re not enjoying yourself. And I can’t think of a better way to spend 30 minutes than talking about travel, or fashion, or wine. There’s a chat – or a few dozen chats – for literally every topic, interest, and hobby you can think of so there’s no excuse not to treat yourself to a relaxing, engaging, fun conversation with friends around the world.
2.)    They help you gain more followers – and a bigger audience. Everyone loves to see their social media numbers soar but the truth is that those numbers are meaningless unless you’re attracting the right kind of followers, people who will support and share your content. The connections you make in Twitter chats are with the kinds of followers you want. They’re active, engaged, and share your interests.  
3.)    It keeps you in the loop. Twitter is a fast paced network in a fast paced world. There’s no better way to keep tabs on your industry and community than to dive right into a chat with participants from around the world. If there’s gossip, news, or developments that you should know about, you’ll hear it here first.
4.)    It establishes your credibility. Want to prove you’re a chef who really knows their cheese, or a writer who always has the best insights? Short of inviting everyone to your house for a meal or sending everyone a copy of your latest book, you need to build up online credibility. A Twitter chat is a great place to make that happen. You can share your expertise in a smart, savvy forum and even post photos and video clips.
5.)    It inspires and advances your career. Every business is really a global business these days. A Twitter chat can help you connect with peers in similar fields from all around the world, allowing you to make the informal connections needed for networking. They’re a great way to form new collaborations with similar businesses and brands in different jurisdictions. Imagine being able to swap ideas with a fellow personal trainer, home organizer, or animator in Rome or Rio or Los Angeles!

I’ll never have Kim or Justin’s social media success but I can confidently say that Twitter is now my best performing network – and also my favourite one to hang out on. And Twitter chats have played a huge role in that. I’ve connected with amazing people and clients, learned so much, and have had a great time chatting with like-minded people from all over the world. Give them a try and see how it changes how you feel about Twitter!

I'm thrilled to have Vanessa Chiasson guest post here at Cathy Thinking Out Loud. Thank you Vanessa for your insight into what makes twitter chats so great. Whether Vanessa is sharing travel adventures on her blog, speaking at BConnected Conference, or hosting a Travel Massive Ottawa event she's always inspiring and engaging.
Be sure to follow Vanessa on twitter.

Vanessa from Turnip Seed Travel 
Vanessa Chiasson crafts content and strategies that inspire people to connect to their clients, to the web, and each other. She believes that social media and online content is an integral part of every successful small business and can walk anyone through the process, making it fun and empowering. See more of her social media tips at SculptSocial.com

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